It's common to feel tired, or even exhausted, during pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks.
Hormonal changes at this time can make you feel tired, nauseous and emotional. The only answer is to rest as much as possible.
Make time to sit with your feet up during the day, and accept any offers of help from colleagues and family.
Being tired and run-down can make you feel low. Try to look after your physical health – make sure you eat a healthy diet, and get plenty of rest and sleep.
Later in pregnancy, you may feel tired because of the extra weight you're carrying. Make sure you get plenty of rest.
As your bump gets bigger, it can be difficult to get a good night's sleep. You might find that lying down is uncomfortable or that you need to use the loo a lot.
Feeling tired will not harm you or your baby, but it can make life feel more difficult, especially in the early days before you've told people about your pregnancy.
Strange dreams during pregnancy
You may have strange dreams or nightmares about the baby, and about labour and birth. This is normal.
Talking about them with your partner or midwife can help. Remember, just because you dream something, it does not mean it's going to happen. Relaxation and breathing techniques may be helpful in reducing any anxiety you might be feeling.
Bump-friendly sleep positions
The safest position to go to sleep is on your side, either left or right. Research suggests that, after 28 weeks, falling asleep on your back can double the risk of stillbirth. This may be to do with the flow of blood and oxygen to the baby.
Do not worry if you wake up on your back – the research looked at the position pregnant people fell asleep in, as this is the position we keep for longest. If you wake up on your back, you can just turn over and go to sleep again on your side.
You can try supporting your bump with pillows and putting a pillow between your knees.
The baby charity Tommy's has a video about safer sleeping in pregnancy.
Insomnia remedies in pregnancy
Try not to let it bother you if you cannot sleep, and do not worry that it will harm your baby – it will not. If you can, nap during the day and get some early nights during the week.
Avoid tea, coffee or cola drinks in the evening, as the caffeine can make it harder to go to sleep.
Try to relax before bedtime so you're not wide awake. Relaxation techniques may also help, ask your midwife for advice. Your antenatal classes may teach you some techniques, or you could use a pregnancy relaxion CD or DVD.
You could join an antenatal yoga or pilates class. Make sure the instructor knows you're pregnant. Exercise can help you feel less tired, so try to do some activity, such as a walk at lunchtime or going swimming, even if you feel tired during the day.
If lack of sleep is bothering you, talk to your partner, a friend, doctor or midwife.
Read about preventing insomnia, including daytime habits, such as exercising, and bedtime habits, such as avoiding caffeine.
Medical reasons for insomnia in pregnancy
Occasionally, sleeplessness – when accompanied by other symptoms – can be a sign of depression. If you have any of the other symptoms of depression, such as feeling hopeless and losing interest in the things you used to enjoy, speak to your doctor or midwife. There is treatment that can help.
Read about mental health in pregnancy.
Healthtalk.org has videos and written articles of people talking about their symptoms and feelings in the early weeks of pregnancy, including tiredness.
Video: how can I sleep comfortably with my bump?
In this video, a midwife explains the various ways pregnant mothers can get more comfortable at night.
Media last reviewed: 25 January 2020 Media review due: 25 January 2023
The Most Tired You've Ever Felt
Growing a human is exhausting. It’s as if a magical spell was cast the day your pregnancy test came back positive — except Sleeping Beauty’s fairy didn’t gift you with 100 years of rest and true love’s kiss is what got you into this.
If only you could sleep more…
It’s completely normal for a pregnant woman to feel fatigued, especially during the first and third trimesters.
Somewhere between morning sickness and elastic waistbands, Little Bo-Peep has lost your sheep (she probably sold them to Sleeping Beauty) and there are none left for you to count to sleep.
One of the first signs of pregnancy is fatigue. It smacks you by surprise, like the sliding glass door you assumed to be open.
Beginning as early as conception and implantation, pregnancy hormones instantly affect your body, mood, metabolism, brain, physical appearance, and sleep pattern.
In the second trimester, which begins at week 13, many women get a fresh surge of energy. This is a great time to tackle those important before-baby-arrives chores, because as you enter the third trimester, which begins at week 28, that extreme exhaustion returns.
Simply put, you feel tired because you’re growing a baby.
In addition to hormonal changes, physical and emotional changes also lower your energy levels and make you feel fatigued.
Some of these changes include:
increased levels of estrogen and progesterone (which, by the way, acts as a natural sedative)
lower blood pressure and blood sugar
increased blood flow
stress and anxiety
back, hip, and pelvic pain
When to contact your doctor or midwife
If insomnia, restless legs syndrome (the uncontrollable urge to move your legs while resting), sleep apnea (a potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts), preeclampsia, or any other condition is hindering your sleep, talk to your doctor or midwife during your next appointment.
Other reasons to contact your doctor or midwife include, if you:
feel concerned that the pregnancy fatigue is a sign of something more, like anemia, gestational diabetes, or depression
develop any changes in your vision
urinate less frequently
have shortness of breath, pain in your upper abdomen, or heart palpitations
experience severe headaches
notice a swelling of your hands, ankles, and feet
Your healthcare practitioner can help you uncover any problems and offer additional solutions.
Growing a baby obviously takes a toll on your body. Don’t ignore the signals your body is sending you. Reach out to others if you’re struggling to sleep throughout your pregnancy. Ask for help from your partner.
No matter how tired you get, you should avoid taking any over-the-counter medicines as a sleeping aid.
Most pregnant women should spend at least 8 hours in bed, aiming for at least 7 hours of sleep every night. If possible, try going to sleep a little earlier than usual.
As your body changes, make sleep a priority and follow these tips to combat pregnancy fatigue:
Keep your bedroom dark, clean, and cold
Create the right atmosphere for optimal rest.
In order for your body to reach deep sleep, cover any windows with blackout curtains. Turn off any digital clocks and unplug nightlights illuminating a glow (cover the display with electrical tape if you don’t want to completely turn the device off).
Set the bedroom temperature a little cooler than the rest of your home, for optimal quality of sleep. Eliminate any needless clutter and wash your bedsheets often. Save your bed for sleep, cuddling, and sex.
Take a nap
Napping can make up for any sleep lost at night, due to frequent trips to the bathroom, body aches, and every other pregnancy irritation. Avoid napping in the late afternoon and early evenings.
If your employer frowns upon nap time, find a good spot in the breakroom and put your feet up while you eat lunch.
Eat healthy meals and stay hydrated
In the beginning, pregnancy can also lower your blood pressure and blood sugar, which can make you feel tired. But a lack of sleep can cause your blood sugar levels to rise, increasing the risk for gestational diabetes.
Keep your blood sugar and energy levels balanced by eating often, such as six small meals a day. Frequent meals that are high in nutrients and protein help to combat fatigue.
To avoid nighttime leg cramps, stay hydrated by drinking enough water and fluids throughout the day.
Keep a pregnancy journal or dream diary
Keep a journal throughout your pregnancy. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, try writing in it.
Pregnant women experience more vivid dreams and better dream recall, due to hormonal shifts affecting sleep patterns, increased fatigue, and repeatedly waking in the middle of a sleep cycle.
Sleep diaries can also be enlightening, providing concrete data about your bedtime, how long it takes for you to fall asleep, nighttime awakenings, awake time, and sleep quality.
Avoid caffeine after lunchtime
As far as stimulants go, caffeine may keep you awake long into the night or cause you to wake more frequently. It can also keep your baby active, kicking and rolling around inside your belly as you try to sleep.
Experts recommend pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to two home-brewed cups of coffee, or less than 200 milligrams, per day.
Ask for help from family and friends. Take a warm bath. Ask your partner for a massage. Take a break.
Wear soft, non-restrictive clothing and sit in a cozy chair with a good book and read for a little bit. Light a lavender candle. Play soothing instrumental music. Have a cup of warm chamomile tea.
You get it.
The demands of pregnancy together with the weight gained puts an enormous amount of pressure on your body.
In addition to more restful sleep, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states the following benefits of exercise during pregnancy:
reduced back pain
decreased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery
healthier weight gain during pregnancy
improved overall general fitness
strengthened heart and blood vessels
improved ability to lose the baby weight after your baby is born
It can take a few hours for your body to fully wind down after energetic workouts, so plan for any physical activity to take place earlier in the day. If the exercise is light, like yoga, it’s unlikely to interfere with your sleep.
Always check with your medical practitioner or midwife before beginning a new exercise program during pregnancy.
Pregnancy can be a tiring experience — both emotionally and physically. It’s important to remember: You are not alone.
Nearly all women experience more fatigue than usual at some point during their pregnancy. Take it as a message from your body. It’s telling you to rest, and you should definitely listen.
Insomnia and drowsiness during pregnancy
Healthy sleep is necessary for all people without exception. But it plays a special role for pregnant women. A woman carrying a child may want to sleep more often, because energy is spent not only on the expectant mother, but also on the growing baby. The duration of sleep for girls in position should be from 8 to 10 hours.
In a woman in the early stages, the hormonal background is rapidly changing. The hormone progesterone, which is actively produced during this period, helps to maintain pregnancy. However, the same hormone can cause sleep disturbances in a girl, a feeling of fatigue and lethargy throughout the day.
Stress, typical of many women expecting a baby, also leads to sleep problems. Often, the fair sex has nightmares, tormented by disturbing thoughts, which causes insomnia.
Painful discomfort in the mammary glands, in which changes occur, can also interfere with a good night's rest. A woman has been looking for a comfortable sleeping position for a long time in order to avoid discomfort, which often unnerves the expectant mother.
As the uterus grows and enlarges, it can press on the bladder. Consequently, a woman is more likely to experience the urge to urinate, which is why she has to wake up.
During the second trimester, the uterus becomes even larger. She props up the diaphragm, so the girl may have the feeling that she does not have enough air.
Pregnant women sometimes complain of night cramps that occur due to a lack of magnesium.
In the second trimester, the child begins to be active and move, which brings a lot of joy to a woman. However, at night, this can interfere with sleep and cause insomnia.
In the later stages, a heavy fetus can crush a large vessel located between the uterus and the spine during sleep. Because of this, sleeping on your back is not possible. In the third trimester, it is best for a woman to sleep on her side to avoid discomfort, headaches, and heart palpitations.
If a woman who is carrying a child restricts herself in her sleep and sleeps less than the prescribed 8 hours, then with one hundred percent probability this will entail a number of negative consequences - a decrease in physical and mental activity, lethargy, irritability, weakening of the immune system. All this can seriously harm the baby and cause pathologies during its development.
It is therefore recommended to consult a doctor if the pregnant woman has one or more sleep problems. The specialist will give recommendations and help to cope with insomnia or, conversely, with drowsiness.
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Do you feel like sleeping all the time during pregnancy? 13 Ways to Cope
Headings : Pregnancy, Main Tags : first trimester, fatigue
Fatigue, weakness, drowsiness - this is what almost every woman faces at some point in her pregnancy. Most often this occurs during the first trimester, and sometimes returns towards the end of pregnancy. You will be surprised how much such fatigue can affect your life. This is not just ordinary fatigue, and you may find yourself sleeping at the most unexpected moments. Have you bought tickets for the premiere of a promising performance? Before leaving, I overcame a dream. Important meeting at work? You can fall asleep even during the lunch break before it. Want to have amazing, pregnancy hormone-boosted sex with your husband? They wanted to, but a minute later they were in the arms of Morpheus. To help you miss fewer important events, try these tips to deal with the weakness that makes you fall asleep at every possible moment.
Advice #1: Sleep whenever possible
Short naps during the day will be your friend, as will rising late and going to bed early. You are growing a whole new person inside, give yourself a break and increase the amount of time you spend sleeping. A growing baby takes all your energy, so give yourself a chance to recover. Even a short 20 minutes of sleep during the day can revitalize you for the rest of the day.
Tip #2: Find some time to rest
You don't need to sleep to re-energize, even just resting can refresh you. At the end of pregnancy, a baby jumping on your bladder, combined with a large belly and an inability to find a comfortable position, can keep you awake. Instead of getting up and going to wash the stove, try to just relax. Soak in the bath, read a book, listen to soothing music, or meditate—do things that help you feel calm and relaxed.
Tip #3: Listen to your body
From the moment your pregnancy test came back positive, you must have felt that your body is amazing. And it is also very wise, so you should listen to its tips. If you feel weak, rest. Pregnancy takes a lot of energy, so you need to take better care of yourself than before.
Tip #4: Drink Enough Fluid
People are often surprised to discover how much they are affected by enough or not enough fluids. During pregnancy, you should drink about eight glasses of water a day. Dehydration feels like a lack of energy and focus, so try increasing your water intake and see if you feel better. If you don't like the taste of water, you can add a slice of lemon or cucumber.
Tip #5: Eat Well
Your baby will take everything it needs to grow from your body - so you'll have to make sure you get all the nutrients you need to function well - from a healthy, balanced diet rich in fresh vegetables, protein, and healthy fats (especially omega 3s). , 6 and 9) - such as almonds, salmon or avocado, coconut oil and chia seeds. Nuts and seeds are a great snack during the day and can give you extra energy. Legumes, whole grains, berries and green leafy vegetables. What you don't eat is just as important as what you eat. If you often eat sweets, processed foods, or junk food, this can affect your level of fatigue. These foods are often high in sugar, and you will have to suffer a sharp drop in blood sugar after two hours. Such food is harder to digest, which means that your energy will be wasted on assimilating this food. Try eliminating, or at least reducing, these foods for a couple of weeks and see if you notice an increase in your energy levels.
Tip #6: Eat little and often
Many people only eat three meals a day, but you need to eat 5-6 times and less. Smaller, more frequent meals can help keep blood sugar levels more even, preventing energy drops. Try incorporating healthy snacks into your daily routine so you can eat more often.
Tip #7: Get regular exercise
When you suffer from weakness, exercise is the last thing you want to do. But it is likely that this will help to cope with weakness and increase energy levels. The more you move, the more your cells move - wake them up and you will feel energized. Even a 20-minute walk can give you the energy boost you need. It may seem like a huge effort, but think about it - you just have to go out and walk for 10 minutes and then come back home! Start small, and gradually increase the load until you have been exercising for half an hour every day. Yoga, Pilates, swimming and walking are popular activities for pregnant women, but you can also find something else to your taste - dancing or even special exercises with equipment. It's best to schedule your workouts at times during the day when you have a lot of energy.
Tip #8: Talk to your boss
If your boss knows you're pregnant, you may be able to arrange flexible hours. For example, arriving late and leaving late if that allows you to get more sleep. Or schedule meetings or important meetings with clients for your peak performance. Think about how you can organize your workflow in the most efficient way and try to offer this to your bosses, they are often ready to meet you.
Tip #9: Be realistic
If you try to live the way you did before pregnancy, this can contribute to a constant feeling of tiredness. Just because you used to stay up late with your girlfriends in the middle of the work week doesn't mean you need it now. Replace evening meetings with joint dinners, calls or weekend meetings and give yourself the opportunity to go to bed early. Don't take on additional commitments at work and shorten your schedule where possible, give yourself a couple of weeks to recover before moving on to something new. Most often, the energy returns in the second trimester, and you will be able to catch up.
Tip #10: Accept all offers of help
It's time to ask for help. Reach out to friends and family who might be involved in your life. If you already have a child, ask someone you trust to take him to the playground for a couple of hours while you sleep. Ask your husband to take on more chores around the house so you can save energy to raise his child.
Tip #11: Organize your to-do list
Sometimes, despite being tired, you will find yourself lying awake in bed at night, thinking about everything that is not yet done. Make a list and organize your to-dos to be more manageable—you don't have to redecorate your nursery in week eight, there's still plenty of time for that sort of thing. Focus on what needs to be done right now and make a schedule so you know when you need to get it done. Organizing your worries will give you a sense of control and allow you to sleep better at night.
Tip #12: Make your bed beautiful
Your bed should be an oasis of calm, a haven of sleep that calls you to it. All distractions - phones, computers, TV, it is better to remove. The bed should be comfortable, clean, and there should be a lot of different pillows on it - during pregnancy, without them, it can be uncomfortable.